These questions are to help us get to know you better, as a person- beyond your scores in contests and beyond how well you can write solutions to our problems. This is your chance to showcase your passion for mathematics and tell us about why you find it so interesting. Don't worry too much and just be yourself!
The problems, while of varying difficulty, are all certainly not easy. Do not feel discouraged if you are unable to solve some of them- we don't expect you to. What we do want is to see how you think as you approach a problem. So, make sure you submit any and all progress you make on a problem that you don't solve too.
Finally, remember that your performance on these problems is only one out of a large number of factors that will affect our decision to select the next Sophie Fellows. So don't let that discourage you either.
Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Once you submit your application, we'll get back to you as soon as possible (in a couple of days, if we can) and schedule an interview. After the interview, we may choose to either admit you right then, or defer our decision until all interviews are complete. Since we only plan to take 15-20 students, it is in your interest to submit early.
However, only submit if you feel that you have done as much as you can, and are unable to make any relevant progress on the remaining problems. This procedure is only to encourage early submissions, not to pressure you into submitting before you're ready.
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a short interview at a time of their convenience. Don't worry about what you will need to prepare for it. We don't expect you to know Erdős Ginzberg Ziv or what Kobayashi's theorem is. All we're looking to do is gauge how comfortable you are with some basic mathematical ideas.
I'm now a Sophie Fellow! What next?
That's great! Once you are selected to be a Sophie Fellow, we will give you access to the Sophie discord server as well as other instructions.
We will begin the next cohort of Sophie from the beginning of April. The first month, until the deadline for the Sophie application, will not be rigorous, and is largely aimed to allow the Fellows to get to know each other as well as get used to being a part of Sophie. So even if you join us a bit later, don't worry, you won't have missed too much!